Indian weddings are incomplete without sweets, and laddus top the list of the favorites. Laddus holds an immense significance in Indian culture, and its use dates back to several centuries in the past.
In ancient times, laddus were used as medicines, and then with time, they are transformed as sweets. Over the years, one thing that remained consistent was the procedure laddu is made. Natural ingredients, as coconut, dry fruits, sesame seeds, jaggery, peanuts, etc., were used for the preparation.
Laddus are now an integral part of several Indian occasions. From festivals, traditional events, or a wedding ceremony, you’ll never miss getting a glimpse of it among all the desserts.
Indian Wedding Ceremonies and the Significance of Laddus
Weddings are auspicious occasions in the Indian culture, and anything auspicious in India is welcomed with sweets
An Indian traditional wedding is complex, which lasts for an average of 3-7 days. Several rituals are performed during these days. You can see laddus being distributed to the guests and are also used as a part of different rituals during the ceremony.
Let’s see how a Traditional Indian Wedding looks like -
The wedding ceremony starts with Ganesh Pooja where close relatives of the bride and groom join. Laddus are offered to the Lord Ganesha idol and are distributed to the guests as Prasadam.
The remaining rituals in the ceremony are celebrated as follows:
Mehndi, otherwise known as henna, is the most important ceremony of Indian Wedding. Mehendi is a pre-wedding celebration that is arranged by the bride’s family. Girls and women are invited the night before wedding. The purpose of this ceremony is to wish the well-being of the bride to ensure good health and prosperity in her life after marriage.
Henna paste is applied on hands. Henna, or Mehendi, is associated with good fortune and positive spirits in the Indian culture. It is said Henna has cooling effect which relieves bride stress before wedding.
One or group of Mehendi artists are invited, who apply henna art for the bride and the guests. Bride has a very intrinsic pattern done on hands and feet.
The Mehendi art for the bride is inspired by Indo-Vedic designs. These days, the artists seek inspiration from Indo-Arabic designs as well.
Sangeet is a musical night ritual where wedding guests are invited to participate in various group events. Families from both sides get together and mingle in various activities to create a fun environment during the ceremony.
The best part about sangeet is that there are chit-chat groups, fun-activities, dance performances, and also a free-flowing bar round the corner. Usually, men show up in sangeet to let loose and dance and enjoy the booze as well.
Sangeet also helps to strengthen the bonding of the bride’s and groom’s family. Sweets, especially laddu boxes, are offered as a treat to the guests who are part of the ceremony.
The sangeet ceremony takes place on the same evening as Mehendi.
Haldi is an auspicious ritual that usually occurs after sangeet. In this ritual, turmeric paste is applied to both the bride and groom’s body seperately at their homes, as a mark of good luck and blessing. Turmeric is also widely known for purifying and cleansing the body.
Out of all the rituals before the wedding ceremony, the Haldi event holds a special significance.
The holy bath, or Mangala Snanam, is an auspicious event that takes place on the wedding day. It is a ritual in which the bride and groom have to take a holy bath where every important member of their family pours water on them. Once it is performed, both the couple and their family can perform the wedding rites for the day.
Pallaki (or Palki)
Pallaki is a ritual to carry the to-be-bride on a palanquin to the mandapa (wedding hall).
One aspect of Indian weddings that might fascinate the western guests is the ritual of "Baraat." In this event, the groom arrives at the ceremony, with his family and the guests from his side, on a horse (usually a white one). The guests dance around him on the beats of dhol, and then there’s an exchange of garlands between both the families.
The couples are asked to sit in the mandapam where Kanyadaan takes place. The ritual is followed by Mangalphera, where the couples are asked to join hands and circle around the sacred fire. Then, the couple gets into Saptapadi, and make a vow to live together happily in any circumstances.
As a symbol of the marriage, the groom applies kumkum on the bride’s forehead. Then, they exchange the garlands onto each other, and the groom ties a necklace around the bride's neck.
Food is always a favorite in Indian wedding ceremonies. You’ll get to see a lot of desserts like Gulab Jamun, Laddus, and Ice Creams on the menu.
The families of the bride and groom exchange a lot of gifts along with laddu boxes during the occasion. Also, the family guests do not leave the event empty-handed. They receive laddu boxes, dresses, etc., which is a part of the tradition.
In the end, the bride bids farewell to her family in the "bidai" ritual, where she leaves with her husband for a new journey of life.
Satyanarayana Pooja takes place on the third day of the wedding ceremony, where Lord Vishnu is worshipped. The pooja is conducted for the divine blessings of Lord Vishnu for better health, wealth, and the prosperous future of the couple and the family.
Rava Laddus (made from semolina) are usually made on this occasion and are offered to the guests as Prasadam.
You can see the significance of laddus in almost every ritual of the wedding ceremony. One prime reason for the popularity of laddu over any other sweets is its versatility and health benefits.
There are no limits to the range of laddus you can offer to your guests during wedding ceremonies. From the dry-fruit laddu, besan laddu, coconut laddu, or multigrain laddu, the delicious Indian dessert can always get you drooling.
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